Marriage is taking a hit

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Orson
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by Orson » 26 Jan 2015, 19:00

LookingHard wrote:I guess that is similar to some of the issues with one spouse thinking something is just so true it jumps out of the pages of the book and slaps you in the face and then to have a spouse basically say that it is all rubbish.
Very good point.
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mom3
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by mom3 » 26 Jan 2015, 19:45

LookingHard wrote:
I guess that is similar to some of the issues with one spouse thinking something is just so true it jumps out of the pages of the book and slaps you in the face and then to have a spouse basically say that it is all rubbish.
Maybe you are right and that is deeper key of life and relationships - we each find value and hope in different things and no amount of coercion will make the other person see it your way. :thumbup:
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Ann
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by Ann » 26 Jan 2015, 22:44

Hi, Eternity -

It was pretty easy for me, in the midst of my massive paradigm shift, to look back and second-guess all my decisions. If I'd been thinking this way as a 20 year-old, my life would have unfolded very differently. But I try very hard to not let that realization downgrade what and whom I did choose. I hope you can take it slow (really important!) and find good advice.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

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Eternity4me
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by Eternity4me » 26 Jan 2015, 23:32

Thanks all for your advice, it really does help. What is unique here is that my husband is not the father of my daughter. I really could walk away with no strings, but my daughter does love him as her own. He came into her life after her dad died. I admit that knowing there are no legal ties, is has had me daydreaming about what it would be like to undo the marriage. But, I have been through divorce before and it is ugly. Very ugly.

Right now we just don't talk about the church, or much of anything really. The chasm between us is growing, although I do get occasional glimpses of closeness. I know it it better to look for the good in him instead of dwelling on the negative. I am sure that this divide is hurting him as much as it is me. After all, he married a woman with great faith in the gospel, and now he is married to some woman who doesn't really care if SSM is legalized, and who leaves church early many weeks. We no longer have couple's prayer or read the scriptures together. I know this is hard on him too. Again, thank you all for the advice, it reminds me that just because we don't have what we once did, it doesn't mean we can't find something else that is meaningful. That right there is a great piece of advice, and I will focus on that.

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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by Roy » 27 Jan 2015, 10:47

LookingHard wrote:I was about to do a pitty post about how I read "the 5 love languages" and was ecstatic about the truths I felt I found in it and probably explained much of my significant marital discord. When I shared it with my wife said, "That is the stupidest thing I have heard. I don't believe people have a 'love language'!"

I guess that is similar to some of the issues with one spouse thinking something is just so true it jumps out of the pages of the book and slaps you in the face and then to have a spouse basically say that it is all rubbish.
DW and I also have read the 5 love languages. I recommend that any books/classes of this nature be taken together. This puts both spouses on the same page about what you each of you are trying to accomplish.

I also do not believe that any one model captures relationship dynamics perfectly. However models are a great way to see and understand certain trends. They can provide a bird's eye view when we otherwise might be too close and emotionally tied to the action to see the bigger picture.

If nothing else it can be an opportunity for us to show love, commitment, and respect for each other in new ways.
Eternity4me wrote:is has had me daydreaming about what it would be like to undo the marriage.
I don't think daydreaming is bad. What would you do and where would you go if you didn't have to answer to anyone else? Maybe I would be the next Bachelor on that TV show and women would compete for my attention and roses. :lolno: (Perhaps that is a bit of an extreme example but I do think that it is normal and even somewhat healthy to do some daydreaming.) However, at the end of the day it is important for me to realize that my reality of post-divorce singleness would be a far cry from the glamorous globetrotting bachelorhood that I might imagine.
Eternity4me wrote:We no longer have couple's prayer or read the scriptures together. .... it reminds me that just because we don't have what we once did, it doesn't mean we can't find something else that is meaningful.
I very much agree that the relationship must now find a new purpose beyond the church.
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LookingHard
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by LookingHard » 27 Jan 2015, 11:33

Roy wrote:
LookingHard wrote:I was about to do a pitty post about how I read "the 5 love languages" and was ecstatic about the truths I felt I found in it and probably explained much of my significant marital discord. When I shared it with my wife said, "That is the stupidest thing I have heard. I don't believe people have a 'love language'!"

I guess that is similar to some of the issues with one spouse thinking something is just so true it jumps out of the pages of the book and slaps you in the face and then to have a spouse basically say that it is all rubbish.
DW and I also have read the 5 love languages. I recommend that any books/classes of this nature be taken together. This puts both spouses on the same page about what you each of you are trying to accomplish.

I also do not believe that any one model captures relationship dynamics perfectly. However models are a great way to see and understand certain trends. They can provide a bird's eye view when we otherwise might be too close and emotionally tied to the action to see the bigger picture.
Yep. For me some of the examples of how different people feel love are. I am one of those that I could care less if I ever hear the words, "I love you". But I have found that it is important for my wife to hear. Reading books and investigating some of these models can tease out some un-vocalized views or preferences - some of which are just so much a part of you that you never even thought about them yourself. Even when I read the book just by myself I had a few, "someone could feel differently than me?????" moments.

countrygirl444
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by countrygirl444 » 27 Jan 2015, 14:20

It sounds like you are already doing a good job at this, but my biggest advice would be to keep respecting his beliefs. If my husband had not been so determined to take me out of the church with him we might have made it, but instead he felt the need to make me feel like everything I loved, and basically my whole life was nothing but rubbish. For me this was the last straw in a string of broken promises, and the different beliefs about whether or not I needed to be married gave me the incentive to leave. The divorce was originally his idea because he couldn't handle the fact that I still wanted to wear my garments and go to church, but I was the one who stuck with the idea once the decision was made. As someone mentioned earlier, you have the right to feel pain and disappointment over what you are going through, but so does he. Make sure you spend more time trying to understand him than trying to tell him he's wrong.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by hawkgrrrl » 27 Jan 2015, 14:37

I have been reading a book called "The New I Do." It advocates rethinking marriage entirely. We enter marriage at a young age with one set of expectations, but those expectations and needs differ greatly through the course of our lives. Change happens. We absolutely don't stay the same or need the same things. The author advocates shorter-term marital contracts with specific goals and parameters that can be renewed or changed at the end of the contract period. While it's a radical notion, and it's not one we grew up with, she does identify several different types of marriages. Here are 4 that will sound familiar:
- Starter Marriage. Usually when young adults are just starting out, and they want to pool their financial resources, to finish their education, to start their adults lives with a partner. These marriages are usually romantic and sexual in nature. They seek a romantic or sexual partner. Financial stability is less important.
- Parenting Marriage. When a couple is ready to make a child (or more than one) the focus of their adult lives. They seek someone who is going to be a good parent and partner in parenting, who will pull his or her weight, who wants the same things and has a similar disciplinary or child-rearing philosophy.
- Companionship Marriage. When children are grown, a couple wants someone who is a friend and partner. Financial stability matters, as do common interests and respect.
- Caretaking Marriage. In advancing years, people need a partner to help them when they are sick or infirm, to remind them to take medications and visit the doctor, to be a good influence on their health and well being (optimistic and supportive). Common interests become less important than being reliable and helpful.

What I noticed as I read the book is that the stress points in our "lifelong" marriages come as we transition between these phases, and what's interesting is that so many couples undergoing faith crisis are also at a transition point between types of marriages.

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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by DarkJedi » 27 Jan 2015, 14:38

countrygirl444 wrote:It sounds like you are already doing a good job at this, but my biggest advice would be to keep respecting his beliefs. If my husband had not been so determined to take me out of the church with him we might have made it, but instead he felt the need to make me feel like everything I loved, and basically my whole life was nothing but rubbish. For me this was the last straw in a string of broken promises, and the different beliefs about whether or not I needed to be married gave me the incentive to leave. The divorce was originally his idea because he couldn't handle the fact that I still wanted to wear my garments and go to church, but I was the one who stuck with the idea once the decision was made. As someone mentioned earlier, you have the right to feel pain and disappointment over what you are going through, but so does he. Make sure you spend more time trying to understand him than trying to tell him he's wrong.
I think there's good advice here. In my own faith crisis I had adopted a "do no harm" stance and was not trying to persuade anyone (particularly my family) to believe as I did. However, because my beliefs had changed and were not in sync with my wife's there was some stress on our relationship. While I always respected her retaining her beliefs (which doesn't mean we didn't at times argue about it), she did not always respect mine. Mutual respect in this and other aspects is key, I think.
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startpoor
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Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Post by startpoor » 05 Feb 2015, 17:48

E4M,

I second the advice to respect you husband's faith, and leave it pretty much at that. Build your marriage on something different. This takes time. If I may, I have a terribly difficult time respecting my wife's current lds beliefs. But she's not crazy, just stubbornly attached to her faith because it was always the one constant in her life. She's still a progressive person in many other ways--supports gay marriage, bashes on obnoxiously orthodox testimonies, etc. But when I mention anything even remotely critical, it's over, the Titanic has sunk and our marriage is being kept afloat by some passing flotsam. I hang on to victories when they come, but I am in no way trying to steer her away from the church. Just the other day we were having the missionaries over for dinner, and she jokingly said "I know it's hard for you to support people who are spreading false truth. If it helps, I can send subliminal messages about the falseness they are spreading."
Me: "Like telling them you found this recipe by peeping around online?"
her: "or 'I just pulled the recipe out of a hat!'" :angel:

It's the small things.

Seriously though, I empathize with your situation and have spent lots of time daydreaming. I have also spent time in counseling which helps. And, I know it's not a popular thing here, but I have found it helps to pray as a couple. NOT because prayer magically fixes anything, but because the two of you are meditating and reaching out as one. It's a way for you to show respect for his beliefs, and hopefully doesn't violate your own integrity. Wishing you a better future :smile:
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